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Up to us - Niko

Niko Kranjcar feels we've had the perfect build-up to Sunday's vital clash against Everton - and now we have to make it count.

Niko Kranjcar feels we've had the perfect build-up to Sunday's vital clash against Everton - and now we have to make it count.

Sunday's excellent 3-0 win in testing conditions at Wigan saw us move back into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and we followed that up with a dominant display and 4-0 win in the FA Cup fifth-round replay against Bolton at the Lane on Wednesday night to set-up a quarter-final tie at Fulham.

The third and final piece of the jigsaw before international matches next midweek comes in the shape of an Everton side rejuvenated in the Premier League.

Although well beaten in the Europa League at Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night, the Toffees are on a run of just one defeat in 11 matches in the Premier League.

That run stretches back to our 2-2 draw at Goodison and no doubt the confidence they gained from hauling back a 2-0 deficit against us with two goals in the final 10 minutes.

They beat Chelsea on February 10 and rubber-stamped their league form with an impressive 3-1 win against United last weekend to move into eighth place.

Speaking in Sunday's official matchday programme, Niko insisted: "It's been a great week for us and the perfect way to prepare for what is a massive game against Everton.

"We want to stay in the top four, but to do that we have to be winning these games.

"They are a team that has come back into form. They struggled at the start of the season, especially with injury problems and they didn't pick up the results maybe they should have.

"Now, with most of their players fit, they've proved they are a great team and, but for those injuries, they would probably be right in the shake-up for the top four.

"But this is about our hopes and dreams, that's what we must focus on. You want to be in the mix at this stage of the season, not mid-table. We want to be able to achieve something that we all know is massive for the club and that no-one has achieved in a long time, to break into the top four.

"We're in there fighting, we have the opportunity. We just have to take it."


Harry Redknapp - His exclusive column.

A to Z - An alphabetical look through the career of Jermaine Jenas.

Numbers Game - Aaron Lennon and Christian Ziege feature in our shirt numbers feature.

From the archives - Classic photographs from matches against Everton.

World Cup countdown - The great Jimmy Greaves and his World Cups of 1962 and 1966.

NOT AT THE LANE? You can purchase our home programmes online - CLICK HERE...